Flip the calendar pages to September and I think of goat — this weekend's International Goat Days, to be exact. It's the only festival I know of where I can eat goat, pet a goat, and watch a goat chariot race all at the same time.
The brainchild of W.S. "Babe" Howard, whose idea of a wild party involves re-creating the pivotal Ben-Hur scene with noble Capra aegagrus hircus (what we know as the domestic goat) standing in for Messala's frothing and plunging equines, International Goat Days has grown into a mammoth three-day event that includes Best Dressed Goat contests, goat milking races, a petting zoo, a rodeo, and plenty of live music. Where else can you learn more about the mysterious Tennessee fainting goat, a breed cursed with a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita, chow down on cabrito (a Mexican delicacy built around slow-roasted kid), attend Cowboy Church, or watch guys like David "Gator Bait" Blackwell and Jerry "Hit Man" Hinton risk life and limb as they participate in a death-defying anvil shoot?
The 2007 International Goat Days Festival kicks off with a children's parade on Friday at 6 p.m. and concludes with a catfish cooking contest on Sunday afternoon.
International Goat Days, Friday-Sunday, September 7th-9th, at the USA Stadium in Millington. For more information,
go to www.InternationalGoatDays.com.